moving on to Prep?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by hunterjumper67, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. hunterjumper67

    hunterjumper67 Member

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    So my daughter received her TWE today. Not totally unexpected because her SAT scores were not what they should be. I have been trying to search the forums but there is not much information about Prep school or the Falcon Scholarship. Questions coming to mind:

    1) When do the invitations usually come out?

    2) How will you know that you didn't get prep school or the falcon scholarship? Will they notify you of that as well as sent out the invitation?

    Let me know if you have any insight.
     
  2. Mattsmom2015

    Mattsmom2015 Member

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    From what I have seen on this forum in the years past they received a letter a few days letter about prep school. Hold tight, maybe there is another letter coming.
     
  3. sarah

    sarah Member

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    My son was a Falcon this year. The letter came out about a week after the TWE. It wouldn't hurt to let your AOL know that you are interested in the program if it is available to you. Good luck!
     
  4. CAmom2015

    CAmom2015 Member

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    CAmom2015

    When our son didn't receive a BFE last April we had already researched a lot of the Foundation prep schools (for Naval Academy) online. If you don't receive a Falcon Foundation Scholarship, you can look into the prep schools anyway. If you attend one on your own,( no sponsorship, no scholarship), you are called a "free agent". There were a mix of free agent kids and foundation kids at our prep school. They are near the end of their year of prep school and many have already received their appointments. Of course, some are still waiting for the BFE and sadly some already know they did not get in this time. For my son, he applied to 3 academies and has 1 BFE, 1 wait list and 1 he is still waiting word on. The prep program, by the way is at a 4 year university and is a fantastic school! Small, but absolutely fantastic!
     
  5. USAFA__2015

    USAFA__2015 New Member

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    I'm currently a Falcon Foundation prep at New Mexico Military Institute. This program is AMAZINGLY helpful and I reccomend going to a prep school (like NMMI) even if you aren't offered a sponsorship.

    To be blunt, NMMI sucks. There are plenty of posts on this site that agree with me. It's either blistering hot (we hit 112 during our 3-week introductory program) or freezing cold (with wind chill it was -12 one day). That's a 100-degree difference. The food is edible and healthy, but as with most places, it sucks. The leadership takes some getting used to as well. It took me a while to get used to being bossed around by high school students after having graduated the year before.

    That being said, this school was made for Falcon Foundation kids. The overall prep advisor is a retired USAF Major and the man in charge of the Falcons (Lt.Col. Hitchcock) is a man who is more dedicated to getting his students into the academy than the students are themselves. He is a lifesaver for all of us. You will take his classes if you come to NMMI, and they are my favorite classes. He taught at the AFA and is the biggest reason that we all got our appointments this year.

    As for test scores, they will go up with time. We are required to take every ACT/SAT until we "max out" our scores. I improved from a 29 on my ACT to a 35!

    The academics are good, the physical fitness aspect is pretty big, and the year has been great for me (as much as I hate to admit it). If you are serious about the AFA, do this program first. Sponsored or not, your chances of getting in will skyrocket.

    Any more questions, or if you want to contact Hitchcock, let me know.

    GO BLUE

    c/o 2015
     
  6. tlangford

    tlangford Member

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    I agree with USAFA 2015! I attend Northwestern Prep on a falcon scholarship and it was amazing! I definitely recommend prep school to anyone who wants to go to an academy and think it has prepared me so much for USAFA!! If you have any more questions feel free to PM me.
     
  7. hunterjumper67

    hunterjumper67 Member

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    may I ask which Univerisity your son is at?
     
  8. hunterjumper67

    hunterjumper67 Member

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    Thank you very much. I didn't realize it was an option to "free agent". I will definitely look into this. We were just going to enter in the local college for a year and than try again if she doesn't get the prep school appointment. I appreciate the info.
     
  9. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    Are there different kinds of TWEs? DDs said basically we're sorry you weren't competitive enough with only 1150 (or thereabouts) slots available for appointment this year. Signed by Proseda. Some here have mentioned "qualified no vacancy." Does it actually say that? I assume, because my DD was a qualified candidate, this applies to her as well, but the letter didn't say. (I do find it darkly amusing that I am now obsessing about the types of TWEs!! :rolleyes:)

    And I do highly recommend a prep school -- DS raised ACT composite 6 points as a free agent, and made lifetime friends, all who were equally resilient!
     
  10. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Are the prep schools good options for kids that were competitive but didn't get an appointment this time around? By competitive I mean 30+ ACT, 3.8 unweighted gpa, decent EC's, above average PFA but apparently a little short somewhere because they didn't get in.
     
  11. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    Packer, that sounds more like Falcon scholar opportunity rather than prep to me, but I'm sure Fleiger or someone will post in a bit.
    My understanding is that prep school are for those candidates that are weak in a certain area, and a year of additional school would help them. They have a darn good shot at getting into USAFA after a successful year at prep.
    Falcon Scholars go to one of several approved schools (AOG pays scholarship money to the school, the school pays some, and parents contribute on a needs basis). They take a certain course selection recommended by the Academy, and have a darn good shot at getting into USAFA after a successful year.
     
  12. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Falcon Scholars is probably what I was thinking about. Something such as NMMI.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    People confuse why the prep system exists.

    It doesn't exist for the "qualified" cadet. In other words, for this yr it is not going to be 1150 get AFA, and 1151+ are offered prep.

    It exists for candidates that have the whole package, but yet need 1 more yr academically.

    Traditionally, it goes to high gpas, and low SAT/ACT scoring applicants.

    Not an ALO, but I would think 30 ACT, (unless we are looking at 34 V and 26 M) with a 3.80 uwgpa would be considered for a prep spot.

    Prep is not like the Miss USA pageant and 1st runner up gets it.

    As far as going NMMI, that is a personal choice. IMPO, candidates that get the TWE and try again next yr as a freshman ROTC cadet traditionally do just as well.

    Here's the thing, if you opt to go that ROTC route, be up front and honest with the det now. Believe it or not they will be happy to sponsor you. Our DS opted AFROTC, as parents we took him to the college and had a one on one with the command in FEB (before the board closed). We were forthright and told them he was electing this route, but unsure if next yr he would regret and it, thus maybe he would want to apply again.

    He assured us he would support our DS if he decided in the fall that ROTC was not for him. He stated he would support him for an ROTC nom. Sept rolled around; commander called DS into his office :eek: moment as a freshman. Asked point blank do you want to apply to the AFA, we need to work on it now. He said no. FF to his sophomore yr. Commander called him in again and asked the same question.

    ROTC commanders are in it to make the best officers, and to make sure they have a cadre that feels supported. They aren't in it for territory reasons.

    JMPO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  14. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    Packer, I tried to edit my post but it didn't work. I also wanted to add that Falcon scholars are selected by the AOG. I don't know what their selection process entails.
    But also know that a year at any good college or university, taking the right courseload, and having a successful year is aslo a viable option.
    I sure one of the mods will be able to give you more information.
     
  15. CAmom2015

    CAmom2015 Member

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    Prep schools can be a great answer to many candidates who don't get their appointments. Some are prep only, meaning that there is no college credit given for your "classes" but you get SAT prep assistance, CFA practice, etc. Others are at jr colleges so the coursework you take can actually give you college credit. The prep[ school my son chose was Greystone Prep at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas. It is one of the newer ones and was started by Commander David Bailey who used to teach systems engineering at USNA and was a graduate himself from USNA. He experienced the dreaded TWE himself when he first applied to USNA but went to Northwestern Prep in CA to prepare to "try again". I don't want to say our prep is best! It is a terrific school but each prep school is there to help those who need a second chance. Different candidates are weak in different areas. Some are really, really Qualified but there just aren't enough slots. My son was a pretty good candidate last year but we live in a very competitive district in CA and those 10 slots fill up very easily. The dreaded TWE said to go to college and take courses similar to what plebes are taking, Calc, English, Chemistry etc. I guess my son thought going to Greystone was a the best place for him because he is keeping up with the plebes in his collge coursework but also getting additional help with CFA, SAT and ACTs, application assistance, leadership opportunities. I recommend looking at the websites for the different Prep schools and seeing which ones best fit your situation. My son and I actually went and visited Greystone before making the decision that it was going to be the best place for him to prepare for the USNA.
     
  16. CAmom2015

    CAmom2015 Member

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    I want to add that the college credits that you earn at either prep schools that are colleges, or at regular universities don't "transfer" to the academies. You have to validate the courses through testing once you get in. The idea is to not get behind those who are plebes, and to remain a competitve candidate for next year. It shows the academies that you can handle the same level of college academics.
     
  17. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I am currently dealing in hypotheticals. Son is a junior and hopefully wil get the appointment he seeks next year. If he doesn't I am trying to know what all of the plan B's are. He will be pursueing ROTC as well. If he doesn't get selected and wants to pursue it again I was wondering what if any advantages the prep schools offer over college and ROTC.
     
  18. USAFA__2015

    USAFA__2015 New Member

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    Ha I've never heard it be referred to as being a "free agent" but that is a pretty accurate description. Look into all of the prep programs also; NMMI, Valley Forge, Nortrhwestern Prep, Wentworth, etc...
     
  19. CAmom2015

    CAmom2015 Member

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    Packer, Prep schools exist to help kids have a second chance to get into the academies. They are not all the same in what they offer, however, they exit to help those who don't want to give up their dream, be better prepared. If your son is academically qualified but does't make it in, then I would not do a regular prep that isn't a college. He definitely needs to be taking college coarses. A friend of ours graduated from USNA and then worked for admissions at USNA after graduation before moving on to his flight school assignment. He said to go to the best college you can get into, not just community college, work on your physical CFA scores etc. We chose our prep school because it offered a university education, continual guidance on the other variables that are part of getting accepted: Community service, leadership training, etc. It's much much more than just college. If your son wants to be in the AF but is okay not going through the AFA, ROTC will get him to the same end result, being a comissioned officer in the AF. Some of his decision will be based on how badly he wants to go to the academy.
     
  20. Packer

    Packer Member

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    CAmom, Thank you for a very clear answer. His goal is a comission as an AF officer. His preferred route is USAFA but he is looking at the other routes available.
     

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